Carol Taylor


Get Somebody Else To Do It: Mitigating Racial Battle Fatigue for Black Women in Student Affairs


Racial Battle Fatigue (RBF) is a term coined to describe the cumulative emotional, psychological, and physical toll experienced by individuals from marginalized racial groups due to persistent encounters with racism and discrimination. In the workplace, Black women often face a mentally taxing array of obstacles to success and a sense of belonging. They endure the policing of their existence and tokenization while also contending with the stereotype that they must be everything to everyone without prioritizing their own well-being. Within the realm of student affairs, Black women encounter additional hurdles that exacerbate RBF, negatively impacting both their personal wellness and professional effectiveness. This presentation addresses the pressing question: How can the field of student affairs be transformed to alleviate the impact of RBF on Black women? By delving into the existing literature on Black women in student affairs and using Black Feminist Thought and intersectionality as theoretical frameworks, this presentation sheds light on how the workplace is a source of RBF. It proposes implementing Identity-conscious supervision as a strategy to mitigate RBF for Black women in student affairs. This approach involves reforming supervision practices and fostering a more inclusive organizational culture. The presentation will culminate in a discussion of key insights and recommendations, exploring the potential application of these concepts beyond student affairs, particularly within the field of social work. By taking proactive steps to recognize and address the unique challenges Black women professionals face, organizations can move toward creating more equitable and supportive environments for all individuals.


With 30 years of social work practice and over a decade of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Carol A. Taylor brings a wealth of expertise in fostering organizational transformation and belonging. As an Executive Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the University of Kentucky, she provides strategic leadership, vision, and fiscal oversight for implementing DEI initiatives. Prior roles include directing offices focused on equity, inclusion, and social justice, where she collaborated with stakeholders to deliver educational opportunities and guide institutional leadership during crises.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in justice administration from the University of Louisville and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky, where she is an administrative leadership doctoral candidate in the College of Social Work. Carol’s research interest is in the experiences of Black women in higher education, specifically mitigating racial battle fatigue Black women experience in student affairs.

Carol’s commitment to DEI extends beyond the workplace, as evidenced by her involvement in community initiatives and professional memberships. Recognized for her contributions, she has received awards such as the Graduate Student Congress Carol Taylor-Shim Award, the University of Kentucky Inclusive Excellence Staff Award, and induction into the Lexington Fairness Hall of Fame. Carol aims to create inclusive environments through her work where all individuals feel seen, valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.